Twenty people attended the three day/ two night trip to the Big Lake Youth Camp on the Santiam Pass. We had a group of upbeat, flexible and adventurous people prepared for anything. Two days prior to departure we got word that the snow conditions were marginal so we adjusted and brought hiking gear just in case. The group all met up at the McKenzie Ranger District on our first day. We split into two groups, one group hiked the Tamolitch trail and the second group went snowshoeing at Ray Benson. Those who went snowshoeing around the North Loop found icy snow, but were rewarded with a beautiful sunny day, and great views of Mt Washington and Three Fingered Jack. Hikers enjoyed a short but brisk 4.2 mile hike along the McKenzie and the always beautiful Blue Pool at the end. We all met back around 3 pm, where a bus and flatbed truck were waiting to take us and our gear the 3.5 miles to our accommodations. We stayed at Headquarters Lodge which was modest, but comfortable with bunk beds for most of the group and a large common space with ample room for relaxing, eating and cooking. On our second day we split into several groups- one group skied the road towards Cache Mountain; two groups went snowshoeing up to Brandenburg Shelter with some of them continuing on for a longer day, and two other groups went on shorter snowshoeing trips. Conditions were still icy, but we had clear skies. Many people came back from the outings with all sorts of garbage that they picked up en route. Our time back at the lodge was filled with happy hour, hors d’oeuvres, dinner and dessert, followed by reading, visiting and games. On our final day, we all packed up, cleaned the lodge and skied or snowshoed back out to Ray Benson Sno Park. It had rained the previous night and was a bit warmer so the conditions were more slushy- making for a better conditions , especially for the skiers. Everyone had a really great time.Members: Schechter, Diane, James, Daphne, Lodeesen, David, Randall, Kathy, Cooney, Marguerite, Hughes, Richard, Barr, Marsha, Nagy, Evelyn, Rice, Emily, Cordon, Steve, Kameenui, Brenda, Smith, Mike, Whitfield, Nancy, Meacham, Lynn, Grissell, Lisa, Hackett, Jane, Lindstrom, Lana, Bryan, Keiko, Newman, Judy, Larsen, Sandra.
Lynn, Marguerite, Steve, and Mike pausing near the South end of Big Lake with Mt. Washington in the distance.—photo by David Lodeesen
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